Readers' Choice: Half Price Books, Records, and Magazines
It's nice when a bookstore is large and serpentine enough to offer hidey-holes and escape routes, should one catch a glimpse of an irritating co-worker or regrettable ex-boyfriend. M&Q's buyers are discerning, so the treasure-to-trash ratio is above average, but they're also democratic, so they have pulp paperbacks as well as the letters of Robert Lowell, a shelf devoted to books on "sexual fulfillment," and a good amount of German philosophy, long a wonderful comfort to the sexually unfulfilled. The store also stocks an impressive selection of collectibles. Imagine how impressed people will be when they notice your first edition of John Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor. Like any decent bookstore, M&Q hosts regular readings and sponsors literary events around town. Bookish singles should take note of "Books and Bars," held on the second Tuesday of every month at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Selections tend to be acclaimed works of recent literary fiction, the buzz books of the smart set, including Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan and Marissa Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics.